After past comments made by Kentaro Miura regarding his health sparked rumors that his sudden passing resulted from his living an unhealthy lifestyle, the mangaka’s chief assistant recently denied that the esteemed Berserk creator’s death was anything more than tragic happenstance.
The aforementioned rumors first began to circulate across social media on May 20th after an anonymous 4chan user, likely only intending to make sense of the mangaka’s unexpected death, posted a compilation of various ‘author comments’ made by Miura to Young Animal magazine throughout his run on Berserk in which he discussed various instances of sickness, fatigue, and self-doubt.
Though Miura’s various comments concerning his mental and physical wellbeing were made only sporadically, when presented together, they appeared to paint the portrait of an artist who disregarded his own health in order to keep up with the demands of the modern manga industry.
I came down with a high fever of 40 degrees Celsius. Thinking about it, I’ve only had two days off this year. (1993, No. 12)
I’ve lost five kilos without doing anything. I wonder why? (1993, No.21)
In the past two months, my average sleep time has been less than four hours. Now I’ll be Mr. Satonaka soon. (No.23, 1993)
Since I moved, my average sleep time has been less than four hours. I’m going to go gammu. (1994, No.16)
I had a day off for the first time in a month and a half, and when I went out, I got heatstroke! (1995, No. 17)
I went to Okinawa for my first big holiday as a manga artist, and spent two and a half days out of four suffering from heatstroke. (1998, No.19)
My first big holiday as a manga artist was to Okinawa. (No.21, 2002)
My days off are half days every two months. I haven’t had two days off in a row for four years. I’m getting tired of it. (No.23, 2004)
I collapsed again from overwork. I missed Gwynn’s Hundred Great Books. Ugh! (2005, No.9)
It’s the first time in my life that I’ve come down with a cold twice in one month. (2007, No.5)
I’ll be 27 years old in July. Looking back, 27 years full of cartoons, is this what you want? (1993, No. 14)
It’s the same every year, but I’m working on Christmas and New Year’s Day. I want to eat Osechi once in a while. (1994, No.3)
I had a day off for the first time in a month and a half, and when I went out, I got heatstroke! (1995, No.17)
After a movie, I always go to the Loiho next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a review meeting with friends and stay there until the first train leaves. (1996, No.1)
I bought some clothes and shoes for the New Year’s party. I only have two pairs of sneakers. (1996, No.2)
I’ll be 30 in July, and looking back, I’ve been drawing comics like Kintaro candy. (1996, No.12)
In a month and a half, I was only able to go out for two hours to have dinner at Jonathan’s. A petite recluse? (2001, No.24)
If I don’t see people for a long time, my mouth won’t work properly. (2002, No. 7)
My thirties are almost over. My life is a mess, with nothing but manga. But I can’t take it back now, so I’m going to keep going!I’m going to stay indoors again this year. (2006, No.3)
After all, I’m not going to stay indoors because I’m lonely. (2006, No.4)
I’ve been too busy to go out for a week, and chocolate has become a precious food for me. Thank you very much. (2006, No.6)I drew soldiers all the time during my absence. (2007, No. 3)
Two-thirds of my body is made up of calorie mates.So does that mean that 2/3 of Berserk is provided by Otsuka Pharmaceutical? (2009, No.19)
I couldn’t see cherry blossoms with the naked eye even once this year. (2011, No.10)”
As fans grew concerned that this philosophy of overwork had contributed in some way to Miura’s death, the mangaka’s chief assistant, Kurosaki, took to Twitter on May 21st “to correct a misunderstanding for the sake of Miura-sensei’s reputation”.
“People seem to be falsely assuming he was living a terrible life based on some end-of-the volume comments that were made over two decades ago,” said Kurosaki, according to a translation provided by manga news account @ruggia_manga. “For the past 15 years or so, Miura-sensei have been having a pretty balanced lifestyle, with good diet and regular exercise.”
Kurosaki concluded his statement by assuring fans that Miura “was very healthy, and wasn’t sufferings from any illnesses.”
As of writing, it is unclear whether Berserk will continue in the wake of Miura’s passing. Though no official clarification on the issue has been given, a long-time assistant to Miura recently posted a cryptic tweet assuring fans that he would “do my best”.
Painful and unfair as it may be, Kurosaki’s clarification makes it apparent that Miura’s death was truly an unforeseen tragedy.
What do you make of Kurosaki’s statement on Miura’s health? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below.